Thousands of Post Office workers go on strike in dispute over pay

The Communication Workers Union said all 114 Crown Post Offices will close on Saturday. Credit: PA

Thousands of Post Office workers have launched a fresh strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at some 114 Crown Post Offices – the larger branches often sited on high streets – walked out on Saturday. Union members in administration and supply chain networks will strike on Monday. It is the second bout of industrial action since the dispute flared and the union is not ruling out further strikes. The CWU has warned that the supply chain strike will mean there will be no cash collections or deliveries to post offices on Monday.

Most of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches are run by independent Postmasters, often as a counter in a convenience store, and will remain open as usual.

The union said Post Office management are insisting on a pay freeze for 2021-22 and a “marginally improved” pay offer for 2022.

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“Our members do not want to be in this situation, but they won’t accept humiliation either," CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said. “Our members worked hard to deliver an excellent annual profit for the company – affordability isn’t management’s problem here. “Frankly, their degrading excuse for an offer has only hardened members, who won’t tolerate a collapse in their living standards." Around 3,500 union members are involved in the dispute. A Post Office spokesperson said: “We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our branches are unaffected by CWU strike action on Saturday. “There are 114 branches, typically in city centres, that are directly managed by the Post Office. “Over two thirds would normally only be open between 9am and 12.30pm on a Saturday. We apologise to any customers who are inconvenienced by a closure.” The union said the pay offer was a wage freeze from April 2021 and a 2.5% increase and £500 lump sum from April this year.

Customers can find out about the status of their local branch here.